Apple has officially launched the latest versions of the operating systems. Along with iOS 14, we also get iPadOS 14, watchOS 7 and tvOS 14, and provide new updates to each of Apple’s operating systems. What new features do they bring, and how can they affect your App Store optimization?
iOS 14, announced at WWDC 2020, brings several new features to iPhone devices, many of which can affect apps and their usage. These include:
- Home screen widget
- Picture in picture support
- App library
- Set third-party email and browser apps by default
- App clips
Home screen modules are one of the highlights of iOS 1
Picture in picture
Photo support has been a part of iPadOS for a few years, but iOS 14 marks its debut on iPhone devices. Adding an image to image functionality requires developer support, but it allows users to watch videos or browse apps in a pane on the screen while accessing the rest of the device without interruption.
The app library is not an app in itself, but rather a new way of sorting apps and app downloads. The app library sorts apps into automatically generated categories so that users can access games, video apps, shopping apps and so on from easily accessible folders. Users can also hide app pages and manage their app libraries, enabling more customizable accessibility.
When users get an iOS device, it is set with Safari as the default browser app and Mail as the default for email. iOS 14 allows users to change default web and email apps so that links do not automatically open in Safari.
Developers must support the option before their apps can become standard. Currently, standard browser apps are limited to Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and DuckDuck Go.
App developers with browsers or email apps can make it possible to set their apps as standard as long as they follow Apple’s guidelines. These are basic requirements, but if the app meets them, developers can potentially increase the usage and usage calculation for them.
iOS 14 introduces app clips, new ways to help users engage with selected app features at a time when they need them. This can help users access apps quickly and on time and give developers new opportunities to reach users.
App clips are brand new, so we get to see their benefits when developers use them. Developers with apps that can take advantage of clips, such as restaurant or e-scooter apps, should consider how they can use app clips to improve usage metrics.
iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 share many of the same features and updates. At the same time, there are some updates that are unique to the iPad. These include:
- Crab after Apple Pencil, which converts handwriting to text and allows scratches to erase
- Smart Selection that can identify handwriting in drawings to become text, as well as shape recognition
- Updates and a new sideline interface for many of Apple’s apps
tvOS has also updated to tvOS 14. This offers new possibilities, including:
- Support for multiple game users
- An increased range of options for controls and device
- Improved search in the app
- Picture in picture
This opens up new tools for developers with mobile games and streaming apps available on Apple TV. While they may not improve visibility in the App Store, more user support and enhanced device options can provide a more positive user experience.
Following the announcement of new Apple Watch devices, Apple has launched the new watchOS. watchOS 7 adds new APIs and tools, including:
- More Complications APIs
- SwiftUI complications
- Xcode preview
- Face sharing
Developers with apps available on Apple Watch should look at the new APIs and see how they can take advantage of their apps and update the listings accordingly.
What developers should do
With all the new operating systems coming out, developers need to make sure their apps are up to date. From April 2021, all apps sent to the store must be built with Xcode 12 and the correct SDK, so developers have time to ensure that their apps are compatible.
If an app does not work properly on the new operating system, it can have a detrimental effect on calculations and optimization. If users update to iOS 14 and discover a game they like is no longer working, they will probably uninstall it and leave a bad review. This can have a negative impact on the app, so developers should make sure the apps work and run efficiently once users have updated.
Want to learn more about App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube and we help you get your strategy started.